Spiraling Toward Irrelevancy

Never has a blog title spoken quicker to the absolute truth than "Spiraling Toward Irrelevancy" ...


Even In My Dreams, Rachel Alexander Isn't Speaking To Me

A series of pointless updates, for the sake of pointless updating.

1) If you’re one of those people who believed the Iraqi War was about oil, (1) you’re wrong, and (2) just wait. The real war for oil is coming; and it may not involve the United States.

2) Sad to learn that Harvey Korman has died, at 81. One of my all-time favorite comedians. R.I.P.

3) Currently reading Véra (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov) by Stacy Schiff. Other recent reading includes The Billionaire’s Vinegar by Benjamin Wallace (thumbs up), In the Event of My Untimely Demise by Brian Sack (thumbs up), and Flying High by the late, great William F. Buckley, Jr. (thumbs up).

4) Looks like I’ll be headed back to New York City at the end of June; the 27th through the 30th. In a new effort to keep this blog updated with content different from Dot Com, I’ll be posting daily from the People’s Republic, with pictures and all. Last I was there, there were still World Trade Center towers, so it ought to be an interesting (and exhausting) trip.

5) Question: Why hasn’t the Dot Com (BrianWise.com) been updated? It has. Check it out. Changes were made to the front index page, the column archive page, and the “about the author” page; they’re cleaner and easier to read. Until a few days ago, the program I use to upload files was failing to connect to the server, and I’ve been too busy (and alternately, lazy) to discover and fix the problem. Problem solved. Go nuts.

6) Another question: Where have the columns been? There’s a new one, “Back Alley Conservatism,” below, over at the Dot Com, and featured at all the usual suspects. Have been distracted the last few weeks, between talking to various colleges about enrolling (and have chosen one, but won’t announce which until, and if, it accepts me), preparing a packet of columns to be rejected by Creators Syndicate, the first season of Deadwood, a few books, and the War Between the States (meaning what is popularly called the Civil War).

7) Regarding that packet for Creators Syndicate, keep checking back for a link to the rejection letter. Will probably frame the first form rejection letter, and just keep subsequent editions lying about. I did write a self-deprecating note to go along with the packet, which will be posted here when I think about it.

8) Yet another question: Have you come to a decision regarding a new book? Yes. I don’t think it’s happening this year. Had a lot of fun and interesting ideas, but nothing to which I’d be willing to dedicate two or three years. Will think about it again in January, when I have a better idea as to how much time will taken up by classes, et cetera.

Column: "Back Alley Conservatism"

Thursday, 29 May 2008
656 words

Four years ago I stumbled across the Libertarian convention on C-Span. It’s hard to take a political party seriously when those who gather to pick its nominee so closely resemble a bar crowd stumbling into a Denny’s at three o’clock in the morning. But there they were, in some hotel conference room, bleating and carrying on randomly as though there were no real format for the proceedings … I lasted about thirty minutes, until the moment someone rose and suggested Howard Stern should be the party’s nominee. That Howard Stern.

Libertarianism is basically conservatism with a few critical departures, those having mainly to do with edifying stoners and tweaking the fancies of terribly unserious people. But for the first time in recent memory, Libertarians have nominated a reasonably serious man, Bob Barr, who in the final analysis could be just enough to the right of John McCain to satisfy disaffected conservatives. A significant thing, since Republicans haven’t bothered with nominating a conservative since 1984.

Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry. Democrats nominate liberals, and will again this year. Yet there is no real disconnect between moderate and liberal Democrats as to the ideological purity of their nominees. In fact, what is passing as unrest between Obama and Clinton supporters boils down to a simple matter of preference: the debate isn’t over who is the better Leftist, if there can be such a thing. It’s over the physical form that Leftist takes.

But ours is a climate where even the most generic of preferences can be stretched and twisted into something “newsworthy.” Polls suggest Obama supporters won’t vote for Clinton is she somehow steals the nomination, and vice versa, if Obama is given the nod. Don’t believe them. It would sting at first, but in the end Democrats will talk themselves into voting for whoever heads their ticket, being that their only reasonable alternatives are John McCain, who will at least masquerade as a Republican and who will have to run to the right if he hopes to win; Bob Barr, who lead the Clinton impeachment crusade in the House; and Ralph Nader, who in no small measure cost Gore the Green the presidency eight years ago. Democrats absolutely will not resist the temptation to bury Republicans in November.

Whatever delight the Right has pulled from the Clinton / Obama mess, it also knows that federal Republicanism (which regrettably is the closest we can get to federal conservatism) runs the very real risk of not only remaining a minority party, but of suffering a blow on the scale of the post-Watergate bloodbath. And in this scenario, electoral conservatism – already relegated to dark corners wherever it lingers in Washington DC – stands only to be consigned to back alleys.

Still, only conservatives mean it when they say they would rather stay home than vote for the likes of John McCain, because the conservative movement is separate from Republicanism. You will never hear a sober liberal say that Democrats deserve to lose elections because their candidates aren’t liberal enough. Not so with conservatives. You will never hear a liberal say that a Republican administration is an acceptable price to pay if the end result is a purer, more liberal administration in the aftermath. Not so with conservatives.

If recent history is a reliable guide, Americans will only stand unrestrained Leftism for so long before lifting Republicans back up as a counterbalance. Democrats are fine as an occasional breath of fresh air, but by their own intellectual and ideological design are prone to suffer squishy backbones and bend to socialist tendencies. Of course, Republicans haven’t been much better these past years, significantly differing from Democrats only in their willingness to find and destroy terrorists, which would be enough if bomb toting heathens were America’s only threat. We await a conservative ascendancy, though the mood of the country seems to be against self-discipline of any sort.


Assorted Little Pieces of News

One: I have prepared my first packet of columns for submission to Creators Syndicate. They can all be found here and are: "(Jeremiah) Wright Reasoning" from 22 March; "White Guilt and CYA in Eugene, Oregon" from 04 April; "Tibet: This Year's Fashionable Victim" from 10 April; "Ben Stein's Important Movie, Falling Short" from 24 April; and "Campaign '08: Never More Embarrassing?" from 29 April.

Last year, Bernard Goldberg wrote a generous blurb for The Unabrian Manifesto, and today he took a moment from his vacation overseas to grant my request to use the blurb in the cover letter for Creators. He wrote said blurb in full knowledge it would be used at brianWise.com, but this sort of usage is another matter, and I didn't want to proceed without his okay.

In any event, just as soon as Creators sends me the uniform rejection form letter, I'll post it for everyone to see. I expect to be collecting them.

Two: Column writing will continue, in hopes of further streamlining the product and making it more palatable for syndicators. Starting next Thursday, columns will be delivered every Thursday (save randomly chosen "vacation" days). Concurrently, I'll begin looking for three to five high powered affiliates in hopes of expanding exposure.

Three: In the next two to three weeks, I also plan to make announcements on whether another book will be in the works this year, and maybe some other interesting things.